The Art of Karate
By Manal Layachi
Volume 2 Issue 5
March 28, 2022
Images provided by The Random Vibez and The Karate Blog
I’ve been doing karate for five years now. Most people think that karate is just fighting, but it is much more than that. There are many styles of martial arts such as Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, Judo, and Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA. I do martial arts. During class, we do kumite (fighting/sparring), kata (movement of techniques), kihon (basics), and self-defense. Karate is not only about defending yourself, but having discipline, being patient, respecting your family and friends, and showing gratitude towards others. At my dojo, on the wall, there is quote by Gichin Funakoshi that says, “Seek perfection of character. Be faithful. Endeavor. Respect others. Refrain from violent behaviour.” Before we begin class, we always recite it.
Many students just focus on their belt color, but it’s about how many skills, katas, and techniques you know. My brother Zak and I are 3rd kyu brown belts. Zak says, “Karate isn’t supposed to be easy during the first day, it is hard. However, if you practice karate every day it will become easier.” During kumite, we learn new techniques and tricks that will help us when we are fighting. Over the years, my kumite skills have improved. Kata is all about focus and precision. In order to have good kata, you need to have the following elements:
You also need to memorize the katas and be able to perform them at the best of your ability. Kihon is all about the basics: for example, kicks, punches, blocks, and techniques. Lastly, during self-defense, we learn techniques that can help us if we are in danger. All in all, karate positively affected my life and has made me a better person over the years.